treasure hunt

On a hunt for modern art around Bruges

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This summer we visited the UNESCO World Heritage City of Bruges. On the way to our hotel, we passed one of the large art installations currently situated on the canals.

THE FLOATING ISLAND : Photo by Juliamaud
THE FLOATING ISLAND : Photo by Juliamaud

Large art installations – What’s that all about?

From 5 May to 16 September 2018 Triennial Bruges 2018 is taking place.  Held once every three years an artistic route spreads across the city centre.  Contemporary artists and architects from around the world are asked to contribute.

This time the theme is today’s liquid society. It centers around the constant change in cities, how society handles such change, social issues and global warming.

Walking Bruges art trail

So we spent the next couple of days on a treasure hunt searching for the 15 works of art.  We started by picking up a map then set off on foot to explore the city.

Near the statue of Jan Van Eyck we found the Bruges Whale. Officially it is called the Skyscraper . Made from 5 tonnes of plastic waste pulled out of the ocean, it is a 4-storey whale that serves as a physical reminder why need need to stop polluting our oceans.

Skyscraper / the Bruges Whale : Photo by Juliamaud
Skyscraper / the Bruges Whale : Photo by Juliamaud

The route showed us a lot more of the city than we expected as we searched for the art work. Try it for yourself, but hurry. You only have until 16 September!

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SELGASCANO PAVILION : Photo by Juliamaud
ACHERON I : Photo by Juliamaud
ACHERON I : Photo by Juliamaud
ATELIER4 - INFINITI²³ : Photo by Juliamaud
ATELIER4 – INFINITI²³ : Photo by Juliamaud
BRUG : photo by Juliamaud
BRUG : photo by Juliamaud
LANCHALS : Photo by Juliamaud
LANCHALS : Photo by Juliamaud

 

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Chingford’s heritage

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Sitting on the edge of Epping Forest, on the London/Essex border, is the London suburb of Chingford. It is host to an array of urban and countryside heritage.

Chingford Countryside

 

Originally the whole parish of Chingford lay within the ancient Forest of Essex. The Domesday figures for swine-pastures show that Chingford was well-wooded in the 11th century, although the parish had a considerable amount of arable land, which was increased by subsequent forest clearance. Chingford’s woodland is still similar in size to its area of woodland in the 1640’s.

Epping Forest and Chingford Plain became popular with day-trippers in Victorian times. As London’s largest open space, Epping Forest is a registered charity managed by the City of London.

Spend some time in “The View” learning the story and history of the forest.

Then visit the listed buildings on the edge of Epping Forest, including the Queen Elizabeth Hunting Lodge.

At the Queen Elizabeth Hunting Lodge, chingford by Juliamaud

Chingford Town

The town of Chingford began as a scattered farming community. Comprising of three forest hamlets, the inhabitants of Chingford had the ancient right to pasture cattle, branded with their mark, a crowned ‘G’, within the forest.

There has been a parish church in Chingford since Norman times. The present Old Church building dates from the late 13th century. However the church building had to be abandoned in the 1840’s as it was in such a bad state of repair. The Reverend Robert Boothby Heathcote decided to build, at his own expense, a new church on Chingford Green. The new Church on the Green, designed by Lewis Vulliamy, was built  in 1844 and established the prominence of the Chingford Green hamlet .

Chingford Green and SS Peter and Paul Church by Juliamaud

During Victorian times nearby Walthamstow and Leyton experienced a surge in urbanisation, but Chingford remained an agricultural parish until the arrival of the Great Eastern Railway.

The Chingford Green conservation area includes a variety of interesting buildings showing Chingford’s development over two hundred years from a small rural community to a suburb of modern London.

The Chingford Treasure Hunt

Discover the history of the “urban” part of Chingford (including the conservation area), starting at Chingford Station. Available as a self-guided hunt on the ClueKeeper platform

Another Murder Mystery at UCL

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It didn’t seem that long ago that my intrepid team of investigators were dispatched to UCL Museums to solve a fiendish murder mystery. Now our help was needed again.

This time a young curator had disappeared.

Disappeared!

The next few hours were spent combing the UCL museums, searching for clues. The team visited the Grant Museum of Zoology and discovered the suspect Doris Mackinnon. They moved on to the Petrie Museum where Violette LaFleur came under suspicion. On to the UCL Art Museum where Winifred Knights was implicated. Dr Elizabeth Garrett Anderson was the final name in the frame, found in the pop-up pathology museum.

This event was more of a treasure hunt than a murder mystery. At each location the team answered clues and found letters that feed into a larger puzzle.

 

 

Yes, my team found the answers to all the clues and the names of all the suspects, as well as the room codes, but we failed to win the final prize.

A fun night out that ended with burgers, wraps and ice creams outside UCL.

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Treasure Hunts in London self guided treasure hunts

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Treasure Hunters using phone for hunting with Treasure Hunts in London
Treasure Hunters using phone for hunting

Treasure Hunts in London

Treasure Hunts in London offers a range of self guided treasure hunts, as well as fully managed experiences, throughout London.

Taking part is easy. Start by downloading  the free ClueKeeper app for your mobile device on the App Store or Google Play. Then decide which Treasure Hunts in London self guided hunt you want to experience. There are currently five to choose from

The ClueKeeper app gives you the clues and provide hints along the way. Once you have the answer, submit it on your smartphone or tablet. ClueKeeper will tell you where to go next. You can even use the hunts as walking tours using the skip answer function.

All the treasure hunts have been carefully planned so they offer a wide range of clues. Some clues are harder than others so it appeals to all skill levels.

Discover mysterious alleyways and hidden parks as well as famous landmarks as you explore the city.  Find out some of the history of the area.

We recommend teams of 4, but teams can be 2 to 6 players. And you only need one app per team.

Professor Oxford’s Experiments

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Escape Land is located on Oxford Street and houses two escape rooms, Professor Oxford’s Experiments and Da Vinci’s Exploration

Professor Oxford’s Experiments, is an adaptation of their earlier Escape from the Age of Steampunk. The latter game was my first experience of Escape Rooms and started my love of them.

The Plot

Locked inside the Mad Professor’s house, you and your team travel back in time 100 years. Your mission is to find the Professor and use his time travelling machine to come back to the present.

From what I remember there are plenty of locked drawers and codes and numerical combinations to find. This was a low tech room with solid wooden components and tactile puzzles. The physical puzzles often needed player cooperation. I’ve seen, but not played, the new game, which includes an interesting new addition. I haven’t played this version yet, as the website warns it’s too similar to be attempted by players who’ve done the previous version.

A good example of a traditional room with a ‘get out of the room’ goal.

Treasure Hunters in Escape Land 1

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Exploring the National Portrait Gallery

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Pity the poor gift recipient.  We all know that deciding what to buy your loved one can be tough, but do you really want to give a farm’s worth of livestock and a party load of people?

That’s just what the present giver did in The 12 Days of Christmas. 

This traditional English Christmas carol, first published in England in 1780, tells the story of a series of gifts from “my true love”. There have been a number of different versions of the lyrics over the centuries but all feature an ever growing list of animals birds and people.

The 12 Days of Christmas Treasure Hunt

Instead of giving gifts, a group of treasure hunters searched for answers to clues about them. Exploring the National Portrait Gallery, their quest took them from Tudor paintings to 21st century art.

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Ho, ho, ho! Time for another festive Treasure Hunt

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Who

Decide who you would like to take on a Christmas adventure.

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What

The 12 Days of Christmas Treasure Hunt is based on the Christmas carol. You will not have to strain your singing voices, just your “little grey cells” as you work out the answers to the song sheet of clues.

When

Tickets are available for Saturday 26th November 2017 and, especially for groups of 6+, for Friday 1 December 2017 and Thursday 14 December 2017.

 Where

Bring your team to explore the National Portrait Gallery followed by cocktails, prizes and festive treats. 

Why

Get to explore the gallery and discover the treasures the collection holds. The National Portrait Gallery is the oldest portrait gallery in the world, with works spanning over 500 years.

Will you win the top marks and collect the winners prize?

Book your tickets now!

Treasure Hunts in London afterhunt party with Mrs Claus
Treasure Hunts in London after hunt party with Mrs Claus